The impetigo is a contagious infection of the skin caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus
or Staphylococcus Aureus
These bacteria invade the skin where there is a pre existing lesion such as a scratch, eczema, wound, chicken pox
, lice or scabies
Impetigo generally occurs in hot climates or when the skin becomes hot and sweaty creating a moist environment for bacteria to breed on the skin.
Transmission of the infection
This infection is transmitted by direct and indirect contact.
- Direct contact: impetigo can be transmitted when somebody touches an eruption of impetigo, then touches another person.
- Indirect contact: the germs can settle on cloths, towels or clothing which were in contact with the skin of an infected individual. Another person can then contract the germ while touching these objects.
Symptoms of impetigo
- Eruption of tiny blister like lesions
- The blisters fill with unclear liquid and become pustules
- The pustules can ooze, then burst and form a yellowish crust.
- A fever can occur during impetigo
- The patient often feels pains
Presentation of impetigo
- On the face: around the mouth and nose, on the scalp.
- On the body: on the arms and legs.
The treatment of impetigo
Treatment of impetigo consists of keeping the skin clean, removal of the crusts and application of prescribed topical antibiotic and or oral antibiotics.
- Strict hand hygiene of children and carers
- If possible prevent the child from touching the lesions
- Maintain good skin integrity of those that suffer with eczema - use regular emollients and any outbreaks of weepy infected skin needs treating with topical antibiotic creams quickly.
- In families with reoccurring symptoms - nasal swabs may be taken and if these show them to be asymptomatic carriers then treat with oral antibiotics.
- Improve general cleanliness and environmental conditions if necessary.